Tracing the Shot

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Tracing the Shot
Date2082-10-5
GMDejapes
LocationSeattle
Status Threat Level: Medium
Factions Involved
ShadowHaven
Abigail Thorpe
Ares Macrotechnology Silverson Detective Agency
Frank Davis
Joule
Lumin
Richard Montgomery
Thomas Montgomery
'Bulldog' Harrigan
Casualties and losses
The crimes of Thomas Montgomery are made public. 'Bulldog' incapacitated and turned in.


Summary

Three runners are hired to prove a man's innocence, after he was framed for a highly publicized multiple victim shooting.

Background

The incident began with no more than the drunken rage of a sheltered arcology heir. Returning by v-tol from a private yacht, one Thomas Montgomery got into an argument with his peers concerning who made the killing shot on a paracritter hunt. Soon after landing on the helipad of a private garage, Thomas' distracted handlers were unable to react before the inebriated youth - a man raised so distant and so far detached from the people of the Barrens - decided to prove his marksmanship against tiny figures a klick and a half down-range.

The result is six dead in a mass shooting incident that captures public attention. Among the dead is a telegenic young university student and SINner, who was interviewing people for a thesis on the nutritional content of sprawl street food. Her face becomes a stand-in for the victims at large.

Within minutes, the machinery that keeps the wealthy citizens of the sprawl free from consequence kicks into full gear. Thomas' father, Richard Montgomery, an influential director of Ares Seattle, exercises his leverage over Knight Errant Captain Jacob Kalowitz of the Touristville Precinct. A wide dragnet is cast over the blocks surrounding the street market and soon the cops found what looked to be the perfect patsy.

Hamza Yildiz: an old ork, drunk and alone and nearly passed out in an alleyway, clutching a hunting rifle to his chest along with an empty bottle of cheap whiskey.

Soon after the arrest was made, a media campaign launches. Hamza is painted so villainously that there were good chances he wouldn't survive until trial. The case would've be closed, even if there were a few flaws and fabricated notes in the details.

But unbeknownst to the conspirators, Hamza had unlikely friends. During his retirement in Seattle, the war veteran found peace as a youth coach - teaching young Barrens rats teamwork, camraderie and pride. One of his early prodiges is Abigail Thorpe, who would grow up to become the undisputed G.O.A.T. of UCAS women's basketball in the 2060s. The now-wealthy, legendary athlete sees the news and commissions a high-power law firm - Nisama and Lloyd, LLC - to represent her old mentor.

The firm reports irregularities in the case to Thorpe, who decides that something is very amiss. Deciding that the law can only go so far, she reaches out and hires a team of runners to unearth the truth.

The Meet

The three runners are invited to the 77 Club, an obscure but exclusive club in Renton, where they meet up with a professional Johnson. Offering few details before the runners agree to the job, 'Samuel Johnson' makes the basic pitch and offers 12k nuyen each. The runners negotiate the price up to 14k each and agree to take the job.

Surprisingly, the professional Johnson leaves the room thereafter, leaving the runners in a teleconference with the real Johnson - Abigail Thorpe. She reveals her personal history with Hamza Yildiz, explains the three pillars of the state's case against him, and asks them to finish the job before Hamza is moved to a public detention center on Friday.

The Plan

Thorpe provides three leads:

  • The location of the street market where the victims where shot, where physical evidence might be obtained. Additionally, the state's ballistic report based on that evidence (which turned out to be flawed in several ways).
  • The identity of an alibi for Hamza, who has gone missing.
  • The name and address of the state's witness against Hamza, who claims they saw Hamza firing the shots.

The runners move out immediately to begin their investigation, only having two and a half days to work with. They pile into Frank Davis' mid-sized sedan, the only vehicle at their disposal, and decide to start with the street market before a coming storm erases physical evidence.

En route, they contact David Squire who shares misgivings about the Touristville Precinct and offers up two names of interest: Vicky DeWitt, an honest beat cop working at the precinct who used to work under Squire, and 'Nero,' the precinct's preferred forensics expert.

Making use of alternate routes to bypass the evening's heavy traffic, they arrive at the scene later Tuesday evening, finding it cordoned off by Knight Errant offiers.

The Run

The runners each use the the tools at their disposal to examine the street market site. Joule projects into the astral and begins investigating a curious astral signature she saw associated with the bullet impact sites. Her reading of astral signatures allows her to spot a 9th bullet un-collected by KE investigators, one embedded into a street sign high above the market.

Lumin spots a fly spy unconnected to the cops below, mysteriously watching over the scene above. She takes control of it and uses it to scout the interior of the cordon and collect data from bullet impact points until the owner of the fly spy notices the activity and hits the kill switch on its wireless functions.

Frank Davis bribes his way past the police cordon and makes contact with Vicky DeWitt on the inside. He learns that Nero was contacted to fabricate and modify the ballistics data. He also manages to get Vicky's tablet to Lumin so that she can reconstruct and analyze the original ballistics report.

The runners recover the 9th bullet fragment, a key piece of evidence, by means of Joule levitating Frank Davis.

As they pore over the evidence, they make contact with the defense team and Nisama and Lloyd, touching base about the state of the case. They are put into contact with an independent forensics team who can analyze what they obtained from the scene of the shootings, and are informed that Hamza's alibi, one Khloe Aetos, remains missing.

As Frank's car begins driving in the direction of Khloe's address, Joule projects once more to investigate the tenement building ahead of time. She arrives just in time to see Khloe being interrogated by an unknown bounty hunter and several thugs hired from the Disassemblers. Joule conjures a water spirit, initiating a chaotic battle that provided cover for Khloe to escape. The old lady hobbles to her scooter and begins driving away.

The bounty hunter pursues, but the water spirit manages to damage the engine block of his car. Joule summons an air spirit with the instructions to keep track of the hunter's disabled car. Unfortunately, the instructions were worded in a way that the air spirit simply stayed with the car as the hunter secured alternate transport.

The rest of the team rendezvous with an injured Khloe Aetos at a street doc's clinic and learn of her history with Hamza, of how the two were veterans on opposing side of the second Euro War who somehow bonded in the middle of the bloody conflict and became long-lasting friends. They met every year at a certain bar on a certain date, giving Hamza an iron-clad alibi for the shootings.

Soon after, though, the clinic is attacked by the bounty hunter, one 'Bulldog' Harrigan of the 'Silverson Detective Agency.' The unscrupulous bounty hunter assails the team with the assistance of a hired rifle, but is instead captured and interrogated. The team learns that he was hired to take them out after a third party got wind of their investigation via evidence left at the shooting site, and that he was hired to find the mysterious financier that hired Nisama and Lloyd, LLC. He had orders to make both groups 'go away.' The team also gets an incomplete image of the point of contact who hired him - a raven-haired elf in a suit.

The team contacts Abigail Thorpe, who arranges a 'safehouse' for Khloe to hide out in. That safehouse turns out to be the summer manor of a famous actor who once played Neil the Ork Barbarian, and the team bunks for the night in unexpected luxury.

In the morning, they are contacted by the independent forensics experts who finished their analysis. They are given key details on the murder weapon and its custom-tooled ammunition, as well as the probable location of the shooter - an elevated private parking garage in an exclusive Bellvue neighborhood.

They make their way to the garage while Lumin conducts further matrix searches, identifying the probable owner of the weapon to be Thomas Montgomery. Once there, Frank Davis bribes his way past the parking garage technician and he and Joule make their way up to the top floor of the parking garage.

Lumin begins digging through the ill-organized camera files looking for key video evidence confirming that Thomas Montgomery is the actual shooter, but faces the distraction of her online English Honors class. She fends off her professor's questions about Huckleberry Finn while sifting mounds of data.

On the rooftop, Frank Davis and Joule encounter an elf - Thomas Montgomer's handler, Richard Montgomery's personal assistant, and a capable wagemage of Ares Seattle. She oversees a small team who had the same idea as the runner team - going to the parking garage and securing evidence of the shooting.

Frank Davis keeps the elf busy with his conversation skills and Joule delays the field technician's efforts by using remote magic to mess with his deck. After a tense confrontation and conversation, Frank Davis manages to sway the elf to come clean and become a whistleblower. Lumin is afforded enough time to locate and copy the files they need. The team departs the parking garage without incident, having everything they need to conclusively proof Hazma's innocence and get him released.

Aftermath

Frank Davis: "So, three copies: one to the defense, one to the KE captain who's not a piece of shit, and one to the media?"

The defense team at Nisama and Lloyd, LLC, is practically salivating at the evidence. Attorney Wilson books it personally to the judge handling the case and, within a couple hours, is shown on tridcast exiting the courthouse with a surprised and somewhat confused-looking Hamza by his side. The bedraggled ork walks, a free man.

David Squire receives the evidence much more solemnly, and with an undercurrent of quiet anger. He thanks Frank Davis for keeping him in the loop, and promises 'there will be consequences.'

The mid-week news cycle becomes a battlefield. Underground and independent news sources pick up on the evidence immediately and run with it, along with some of the more adventurous news anchors on Horizon. Predictably, Humanis doubles down on their condemnation of Hamza, painting the new evidence as false news conjured by a conspiracy of elves and wealthy dwarves.

On Thursday, the case blows up further with an explosive admission from a recently-retired Ares whistleblower who confesses to her part in the entire affair. The 'Touristville Shooting' debates last well until the weekend, where the story is quickly eclipsed by a dirty bomb detonated Downtown...

Meanwhile, a very satisfied Abigail Thorpe sends all three of the runners a personal thanks in addition to the promised payment. On Friday, each of them receive a memento - a basketball signed by the legendary athlete herself.

Rewards

'Tracing the Shot' (13 RVP Total)

  • ¥ 14,000 (7 RVP)
  • 6 Karma (6 RVP)
  • 1 Street Cred for clearing an innocent man's name.
  • 2 CDP

Lumin: Optional Quality - Brilliant Heuristics (5 RVP)
Frank Davis: Optional Qualities - 1 rating of Magic Resistance (6 RVP), Honest Face (5 RVP)
Joule: Optional Quality - Adrenaline Surge (12 RVP)

Game Quotes

Player After Action Reports (AARs)

Lumin

That run was... Terrifying on several different levels and at several different *sorts* of terrifying. First, the clear and blatant miscarriage of justice simply because someone had money, the second being my own forgetfulness about the fly spy, the third being Frank deciding to *step in front of a bullet* for me. I didn't expect him to do that honestly, and I feel a little guilty still now for being so stupid. Frank and Joule deserve the money way more than I do, I in some ways, made things worse, not better, and foundered around in the background while also making both of the other runners uncomfortable. So much for professionalism.